With Amazon strangling independent bookstores, DCX Growth Accelerator—an agency known for attention-getting and buzzy immersive experiences—stepped in to help the American Booksellers Association's 1,800 members. Alarmed by statistics showing that one in four independent bookstores could close by year-end, DCX took the group’s tiny budget—$33 per store—and turned it into massive awareness.
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The agency selected major media markets such as New York, Washington D.C. and Los Angeles and illustrated how local bookstores were being crowded out by obliterating the storefronts of six indie bookshops with Amazon boxes. The word was spread via the bookstores’ Twitter accounts announcing a protest campaign with the hashtag #BoxedOut, urging people to buy books locally for the holidays.
The event was picked up by major media, allowing the campaign to achieve 4.5 biillion media impressions; search volume for “bookstore near me” spiked 115% and remained sustained at 50%. Visits to the organization’s bookshop.org site doubled—and stayed that way.
More importantly, some local shops were saved. Only 1% of bookstores closed in 2020, far fewer than the projected 25%.